Perry Gorgen - New Principal of South Hill Elementary School
Perry Gorgen, the new principal at South Hill Elementary School, looks forward to becoming part of the ICSD community and empowering students, staff, and families to be their best.
He comes to Ithaca from Baltimore City Schools, where he worked for 10 years, most recently as Director of Early Learning Programs for roughly 13,000 students across 130 schools.
In Ithaca, Gorgen found a place to apply his early childhood education experience while bringing his family, including a baby daughter, closer to relatives in the Finger Lakes area. Gorgen also appreciates the ICSD’s approach to education and its focus on inclusion.
“Ithaca is very different in many ways to Baltimore, but one of the things that’s consistent is that the people in the school district view education as a really important element in social justice,” he said. “What we’re doing here is beyond just teaching kids how to add and write. We’re building citizens.”
Gorgen has spent the summer getting to know staff and has prioritized integrating himself into the existing South Hill community. He hopes building relationships will help him to support students, staff, and families in the pursuit of learning.
“I’ve been meeting a ton of new people every day,” he said. “What my goal is in any leadership position is to empower the stakeholders, whether that’s kids, caregivers, or teachers, to push us forward.”
Outside of work, Gorgen enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee and being in nature. He was thrilled to receive a state park pass as an early welcome gift from one of South Hill’s fourth-grade classes. “It was totally perfect,” he said. “I’ve already used it to get into Buttermilk Falls.”